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Any interest? OEM EA radio ponderings


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37 replies to this topic

#1 Idasho

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Posted 31 October 2011 - 08:51 PM

Every now and again I find something that I HAVE to modify.

The shaft style am/fm radio in my 1984 GL is one of them. I love the radio. Its OEM, the reception is fantastic, and the controls are simple and work. But there isnt ANY decent way to connect my Iphone for tunes when radio simply doesnt cut it. FM transmitters, hard wired or wireless are all junk. And the last thing I would do to this car is cut up the factory dash to fit a newer radio, IF I could even find one with a shallow case to fit.

So...

The modification for these old radios is fairly straight forward. But it certainly requires you to know what you are doing, and how to solder sensitive components.

But the bottom line is that it would provide a pre-amp AUX input to these old radios. A 3.5mm headphone jack to connect whatever. All without loosing the functionality or looks of the OEM radio.

Would any of you be interested in such a service?

#2 Crazyeights

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Posted 31 October 2011 - 09:13 PM

Try some searching - I think this is already being attempted in another thread. I just can't remember where/when.

#3 bheinen74

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Posted 31 October 2011 - 09:15 PM

just tap into the tape input connector right?

#4 Idasho

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Posted 31 October 2011 - 09:20 PM

No, while I could so such a retrofit to a tape deck, this is specific to the am/fm radio. No tape deck.

Crazyeights, I have done searching. Nothing conclusive. There is a few mentions of such a modification being possible, but never actual claims it has been done.

#5 bheinen74

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Posted 31 October 2011 - 09:35 PM

the back of the am fm has a input for accessory tape deck which was a option. It sent signal to the amp in the radio. So, just tap into that input from the wire hanging in the back. simple. it is a left and right input.

#6 man on the moon

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Posted 31 October 2011 - 09:37 PM

In theory the wires out to the speakers shouldn't care where the signal is coming from, just that it is coming. If you are clever enough with a solder gun you could (theoretically) put a Y-split into the signal out line, pre-amp. You would have to put a selector device in there (I don't have a picture, sorry!) so you can switch between which part of the Y is sending...the radio or whatever aux option you go with.

Not in a Subie, but I have seen the headphone wire from an iphone snipped, soldered, and run so the plug end was in the pull-out ash tray in the dash. The ipod lay in the ash tray which was able to close, leaving a totally stock look to the thing. I think that radio had an aux-option already built in, though.

#7 man on the moon

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Posted 31 October 2011 - 09:48 PM

You should be able to do something like this: (quick paintbrush image, not exactly picasso, but hope it helps). The single red line is roughly how the thing should be wired right now. The black lines should (in theory) allow you to input an aux something. You would have to experiment with resistors and whatever else you needed, this is just a schematic and not a wiring diagram.

https://picasaweb.go...feat=directlink

ETA: for some reason the picture doesn't show up as an image, guess you'll have to follow the link.

https://picasaweb.go...feat=directlink

Edited by man on the moon, 31 October 2011 - 09:51 PM.


#8 Idasho

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Posted 31 October 2011 - 10:43 PM

Guys, I already have this worked out.

It is tapped into the pre-amp output just before the volume knob. And no switch is needed using the correct headphone jack.

#9 man on the moon

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Posted 31 October 2011 - 10:56 PM

Details! I am interested in this too, I just have done absolutely nothing in terms of researching or gathering parts.

#10 Idasho

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Posted 31 October 2011 - 11:50 PM

There really isnt too much to it.

Ive done this with a few shaft style (and newer) radios over the years.

You tap into both L and R pre-amp outputs just before the volume control, and use a closed circuit panel mount headphone jack.

When your MP3 player is not plugged in the radio functions normally. The closed circuit jack passes the pre-amp outputs from the am/fm board to the volume control.

When you plug the MP3 player in, the closed circuit jack interrupts the am/fm signal, and completes the circuit from the MP3 line out to the volume control.


Short version:

When you plug it in, the AM/FM signal shuts off, and the AUX (MP3) signal turns on.




This way the volume control, tone, balance, fade, all work like normal. All you are doing is changing the input source signal.... pre-amp and pre-volume.

Any more questions?:D

#11 man on the moon

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Posted 01 November 2011 - 01:05 AM

No, that makes sense...as long as it works!

#12 Idasho

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Posted 02 November 2011 - 07:58 PM

I tore apart my spare head unit this evening. No way I will be doing what I thought I was. The volume control is buried into the unit, and you literally have to tear the entire thing apart to get to it. No fun at all.

the back of the am fm has a input for accessory tape deck which was a option. It sent signal to the amp in the radio. So, just tap into that input from the wire hanging in the back. simple. it is a left and right input.


You know i did read this.... but I figured my GL wouldnt have it.

Well, it does. And the spare am/fm radio I picked up does as well. And Ive figured out the wiring.

I just need to pick up the proper connector and test it out :burnout:

7 pins. One L, one R, one GROUND, and two that must be tied together to kill the radio input.


Thanks for the suggestion!

#13 nncoolg

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Posted 04 November 2011 - 08:52 PM

...isnt that 5 pins?

#14 Idasho

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Posted 04 November 2011 - 08:55 PM

Yep.

The connector is a 5-pin DIN

ground
left +
right +
and TWO leads that when connected mute the AM/FM preamp input.

5 total, unless I counted wrong :D

And I just about have the panel done for it. I should have it installed and up and running this weekend.

Posted Image

#15 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 04 November 2011 - 09:20 PM

Yeah - the tape deck input is on all the EA81 radio's - tape deck's were an option in those years. The input jack mod has been done quite a few times - at least two threads that I can recall seeing.

Personally I prefer the new shallow mechless decks though - an a decent job of installation of course.

GD

#16 bheinen74

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Posted 04 November 2011 - 09:22 PM

Yeah - the tape deck input is on all the EA81 radio's - tape deck's were an option in those years. The input jack mod has been done quite a few times - at least two threads that I can recall seeing.

Personally I prefer the new shallow mechless decks though - an a decent job of installation of course.

GD


Have you ever tried AM tuning on the new stuff?
It is crap. end
Have you tried AM on the old Subaru transistor?
Awesome reception.

I do like my AM radio for listening to NCAA sports games.

so meh on the new stuff.

The old rotary dial allowed fine tuning not capable on a digital tuner.
My dad may in fact, install a old BRAT radio, in his Forester, so he can get AM......so there

#17 nncoolg

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Posted 04 November 2011 - 09:24 PM

...I have seen 'it' done a few time before too, but never a proper wiring guide for the mod, I reckon that would be helpful for others...

#18 Idasho

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Posted 04 November 2011 - 09:52 PM

Have you ever tried AM tuning on the new stuff?
It is crap. end
Have you tried AM on the old Subaru transistor?
Awesome reception.

I do like my AM radio for listening to NCAA sports games.

so meh on the new stuff.

The old rotary dial allowed fine tuning not capable on a digital tuner.
My dad may in fact, install a old BRAT radio, in his Forester, so he can get AM......so there


I agree 100%

The reception on these old units is so much better that the newer stuff.

#19 Idasho

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Posted 04 November 2011 - 10:00 PM

...I have seen 'it' done a few time before too, but never a proper wiring guide for the mod, I reckon that would be helpful for others...


here we go... I hope everyone likes pictures

Connectors described

Posted Image

The one we are after

Posted Image

Then you need to find a 5-pin din cable with a MALE end on it.

And cut it up to connect to the 3.5mm headphone jack and switch.

Posted Image
Posted Image

And mounted to the panel that will hold it all together. This panel is designed to fit over the factory ash tray (I dont smoke), and will also hold an oil pressure gauge.

The switch is one I had laying around in my electrical tool box. Though I think Ill keep it. The green will go great with the green digital dash and green oil psi gauge.

Posted Image

Posted Image

#20 Idasho

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Posted 04 November 2011 - 10:03 PM

I should also note that this isnt 100% tested just yet!

So no promises. Not just yet!! :D

But according to my calculations.......... :headbang:

#21 man on the moon

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Posted 04 November 2011 - 10:25 PM

This looks so easy I could do it in my studio apartment and install it into the car in a few minutes. I think I'd put the jack on or next to the radio as I have other plans for the ashtray area, but otherwise...wow.

Can't wait to hear if it works! Cheers :drunk:

#22 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 04 November 2011 - 11:01 PM

I wasn't aware of the AM reception issues with our new-fangled digital sets so if that's your poison I appologize :-p.

I pretty much listen to FM rock or the multiple GB's of MP3's on my phone.... and being that I'm not a sports fan.... AM is pretty much what I plan on tuning into for the Zombie Apocalypse and as such I have a one of those emergency units with a hand-crank ;).

GD

#23 bheinen74

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Posted 04 November 2011 - 11:02 PM

I wasn't aware of the AM reception issues with our new-fangled digital sets so if that's your poison I appologize :-p.

I pretty much listen to FM rock or the multiple GB's of MP3's on my phone.... and being that I'm not a sports fan.... AM is pretty much what I plan on tuning into for the Zombie Apocalypse and as such I have a one of those emergency units with a hand-crank ;).

GD


and coast to coast am is on there.......for those in the care.

#24 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 05 November 2011 - 01:10 AM

Not since Art retired. It's not the same with George.

GD

and coast to coast am is on there.......for those in the care.



#25 Idasho

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Posted 05 November 2011 - 01:54 PM

UPDATE.

It works!

A silly note though.... it seems that the switch is 100% NOT needed. At least on the two head units I have. When I plug my IPhone into the new 3.5mm jack, the radio signal cuts off 90+% there is still a VERY slight signal, but with the IPhone volume up more than 50%, and head unit volume adjusted accordingly, you cannot hear it at all, even when there is no music.

So I snipped the leads to that switch, and now I need to find something to control with that switch! Maybe my off road lights.... I dunno.


but the simple 5-pin DIN to headphone connection works 100%. :clap:

Ive got the console out of the car now, and just need to get the mounting figured out for the gauge panel.




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